APPOMATTOX, Va. (WFXR) — With less than two weeks to go until high school football season, our next stop on the Friday Night Blitz preseason tour is Appomattox County, where we find the defending Class 2 state champions.
The spring 2021 season saw the Raiders earn their second consecutive state crown and fifth in the last six seasons.
But this chapter of the dynasty was a bit different as Appomattox did it without Doug Smith on the sidelines. The head coach battled cancer during the spring season, getting diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
Smith is back with his team in person and ready for the new season.
“I can’t put it into words to be honest with you. I am probably going to do some over coaching for a little bit since I haven’t done it in so long,” Smith said. “So I have to apologize to the kids as I am a little excited. But they understand. So it is a joy. I am so thankful for everyone who prayed for me and my family. I could not have done it without the prayers of God’s people. It has been awesome.”
And the players plan to continue the dynasty of state titles with Smith back at the helm.
“It will give us more motivation. Just to have our coach back. It means so much to us to have us back,” senior quarterback Tre Lawing said. “Honestly we didn’t know if he would be able to come back to coach. So honestly it was a blessing.”
Appomattox opens up the season on the road against Buckingham County on August 27.